Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ergot Alkaloids

Ergot alkaloids are produced by Claviceps Purpurea.


Pharmacokinetics of Ergot Alkaloids:
It is effective in 50% of patients. The oral dose is about 10 times larger than IM dose although gastrointestinal absorption can be increased by caffeine.

Action of Ergot alkaloids:
As described of ergotism, some of the naturally occurring alkaloids are powerful hallucinogens. They constrict most human blood vessels which may be due to partial agonist effects at α-adrenoceptors. In very low doses, ergot preparations can evoke rhythmic contraction and relaxation of the uterus.

Clinical uses of ergot alkaloids:
1. Migraine.
2. Hyperprolactinemia.

Increased serum level of prolactin (Anterior pituitary hormone).

3. Postpartum Haemorrhage.
Oxytocin is usually used to control postpartum haemorrhage but if this is insufficient than ergonovine maleate can be used.

4. Senile Cerebral Insufficiency.
Once the headache starts, Analgesics or NSAIDs can be helpful in reducing the pain such as aspirin, naproxen, propoxyphene and caffeine.
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